Taking Stock: Contests, CEOs, & Commemorative Bottles

Here is a round-up of the latest news, hires, and product releases from around the bar and restaurant industry.


Koloa Rum Company Las Vegas Raiders

Koloa Rum Company and Las Vegas Raiders Partner to Launch Commemorative Bottle 

Koloa Rum Company has partnered with the Las Vegas Raiders in creating a limited-edition Kauai Reserve Five-Year Single-Barrel Aged Rum with commemorative bottle and box – honoring the 45th anniversary of the team’s historic first World Championship that resulted from a 32-14 win over Minnesota on January 9, 1977. Since 2021, Koloa Rum Company has been “The Official Ultra-Premium Rum of the Las Vegas Raiders.”

Only 300 Single-Barrel bottles and boxes will be sold and are available exclusively in the state of Nevada. Members of the Raider Nation interested in toasting to the legacy of the Silver and Black can purchase the commemorative bottle and box for $159.99.

“As the Official Premium Rum of the Las Vegas Raiders, we’re honored to partner with this legendary organization in creating this special commemorative bottle, celebrating the 45th anniversary of their historic World Championship win,” said Bob Gunter, president and CEO of Koloa Rum Company. “This exciting collaboration marks our first commemorative product release – momentous for Koloa Rum Company – and we’re happy that we can bring The Spirit of Aloha to Raiders fans on the ninth island.”


Texas Roadhouse CFO Tonya Robinson Retires

Texas Roadhouse, Inc. announced that after more than two decades at the Company, its Chief Financial Officer, Tonya Robinson, has retired effective January 4, 2023. 

“Tonya has provided tremendous value throughout her 24-year career at Texas Roadhouse, rising from Staff Accountant to CFO,” said Jerry Morgan, CEO and President of Texas Roadhouse. “We wish Tonya the best as she begins her next chapter in life,” Morgan added.

Ms. Robinson joined Texas Roadhouse in 1998 and has served in a variety of roles in her career, including Controller, Director of Financial Reporting and Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. Robinson was named Chief Financial Officer in May of 2018. The Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Keith Humpich, Vice President of Finance, as interim CFO until a permanent successor has been identified.


rtds ready to drink canned cocktails
(Photo: Pexels)

Nevada Clark County Expands Sale of Spirits Ready-to-Drink Products

Last week, the Clark County Clerk signed an ordinance expanding access to spirits ready-to-drink (RTD) products by allowing them to be sold at on-premise establishments where beer and wine are sold.

“By allowing spirits-based RTDs to be sold where beer and wine are sold, Clark County has increased consumer convenience, supported local businesses and boosted state tax revenue,” said Adam Smith, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Vice President of State Government Relations. “Clark County, which includes the popular tourist destination Las Vegas, is setting an example for the rest of the state by passing this ordinance and allowing businesses to serve their customers a genuine spirits-based drink, instead of a beer or wine product that imitates a real cocktail. Alcohol is alcohol, and there is no good reason products with similar alcohol content should not be sold in the same places. We encourage the Nevada Legislature to take action on expanding spirits RTD access statewide.”

The ordinance defines spirits RTDs as products in original containers not exceeding 17% alcohol-by-volume.


David Bower Named Director of Growth at BrewLogix 

BrewLogix—a technology solutions company influencing the next trajectory of growth in the beverage hospitality and craft brew industries—today announced David Bower as its new Director of Growth. As part of the company’s senior leadership team, Bower will be responsible for driving BrewLogix’s growth including go-to-market strategy development, sales operations, deal coaching, and marketing consultation. 

A proven strategic, analytical high growth leader in the beverage, CPG, manufacturing, tech and retail spaces, Bower brings over 10 years of sales, marketing, and operations leadership excellence to BrewLogix. Notably, Bower recently served as President of Upland Brewing Company, where he rose through the ranks starting as VP of Sales and Marketing and Chief Sales Officer to the top position. During his tenure, Bower successfully grew the brewery’s national footprint, expanded their regional retail presence, and achieved consistent profitability. Bower also held sale positions at Sun King Brewing Company, Smoking Goose and Monarch Beverage Company. 


Alex Alvarez Appointed Beam Suntory Chief Supply Chain Officer

Beam Suntory announced the appointment of Alex Alvarez as Chief Supply Chain Officer. In this role, Alvarez will be responsible for Beam Suntory’s global operations, including 19 distilleries and bottling plants, as well as the company's supply chain, procurement and quality functions. He succeeds David Hunter, who as previously announced, will retire at the end of January 2023.

“Alex brings deep experience in spirits manufacturing and operations, so he understands the challenges and opportunities for our business as we grow and optimize our global manufacturing footprint,” said Albert Baladi, President & CEO of Beam Suntory. “Alex’s experience as a sustainability leader also provides important insights into how we not only produce the highest quality liquids, but how we do it in a way that delivers on our values and Growing for Good.”


(Photo of courtesy of Italicus)

Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge 2023

ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto has announced the launch of Art of ITALICUS Aperitivo Challenge 2023; a bartending challenge inspired by art and creativity. Born in 2018, each year this contest allows bartenders to honor art’s liquid expression: cocktails. 

In order to enter, bartenders must create an original aperitivo-style cocktail recipe, inspired by any form of art, using a minimum of 1.5 oz of ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto. Bartenders will also be required to include a sustainable element in their cocktails, highlighted in either an ingredient or garnish. The recipe should be expressed with measurements as well as garnishes, glassware and overall presentation. 

Just eight finalists will be selected for the US final, which will be held in spring 2023. The finalists will prepare their cocktails in front of a live panel of expert judges and the winner will be crowned as the US Bar Artist of the Year. This winner, along with the national winners from all participating countries, will receive a 1-year membership to the Shōshin Art Club learning platform and will also be entered into the Global Art of ITALICUS Final, which will take place in May 2023. Only one global winner will then be crowned as ITALICUS Bar Artist of the Year. This winner will be awarded a once in a lifetime mentorship program with Giacomo Giannotti at Paradiso Barcelona, World’s Best Bar 2022, and the entire experience will be documented by Shōshin Art Club. 


Texas Roadhouse, Inc. Appoints Gina Tobin President

Texas Roadhouse, Inc., announced that its Chief Learning and Culture Officer, Gina Tobin, has been promoted to President, a post which has been held by CEO Jerry Morgan since 2021.

Tobin, a 27-year veteran of Texas Roadhouse, has served in a variety of roles throughout her career at Texas Roadhouse, including as a Managing Partner, Market Partner, Vice President of Training, and most recently as Chief Learning and Culture Officer.

In addition to her current duties overseeing Food, Service, Training, Research & Development, and Diversity & Inclusion, Tobin will take on more day-to-day responsibilities at all levels throughout the Support Center.


Roxie Canned cocktails molson coors

New Roxie, the First Line of Zero-proof Cocktails from Molson Coors

Molson Coors Beverage Company has released Roxie, a zero-proof canned cocktail. Inspired by craft cocktails with a twist, Roxie is packed with flavor, a hint of intrigue, and a whole lot of attitude – without the booze. The launch of Roxie is Molson Coors’ latest venture in the beyond beer space and marks their first-ever direct-to-consumer line of zero-proof cocktails.

Roxie comes in three premium crafted flavors meant to be enjoyed straight from the can, on the rocks, or if you want to be fancy, dressed up with your favorite garnish. With flavors as alluring as these, you won’t believe they’re zero-proof!

  • Ripe with Passionfruit: Bold, zesty, and so lush with passionfruit…it’s almost indecent.
  • Forbidden Pineapple: Juicy, tangy, and drenched in vibrant flavors that dare to go there. 
  • Lost in Mango: Rich and aromatic, with a full-bodied finish and a dash of intrigue.


(Photo by Glendronach)

The GlenDronach Releases Cask Strength Batch 11

The GlenDronach Distillery announces the eleventh release of its highly anticipated Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This expression boasts the exceptional depths of sherry wood maturation, continuing the legacy set out by distillery founder James Allardice in 1826, which marries Highland spirit to Spanish oak.

The GlenDronach Cask Strength offers a deep insight into the distillery’s character by bottling at the whisky’s natural cask strength, as was the custom before the turn of the 20th century. This eleventh batch of The GlenDronach Cask Strength is a richly sherried Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, matured slowly in fine Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks.

The GlenDronach’s Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie intricately composed each marriage of The GlenDronach Highland Single Malt for the deepest color, with the exquisite duality of the Andalucían casks bringing exceptional depth, character and complexity to the robust Highland spirit.

“This eleventh batch of The GlenDronach Cask Strength embodies The GlenDronach‘s celebrated style of Spanish Oak maturation in fine Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucía,” Barrie said. “Add a drop or two of water to this latest expression to reveal a cornucopia of flavor - from richly spiced bramble wine and treacle toffee, to lingering Seville orange peel and nutmeg layered with caramel and maraschino cherry.”


In-N-Out Burger Eyes Eastern Expansion

In-N-Out Burger announced intentions to open future restaurants in Tennessee with an Eastern territory office to be built in the city of Franklin. 

“We are very excited to provide Tennesseans with our quality burgers, fries and shakes,” said Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out owner, president and sole granddaughter of Harry and Esther. “In every decision I make, I always consider what my family would want. I have no doubt that my grandparents, dad and uncle would be proud of this decision to grow our Associate family and serve even more amazing Customers beginning in Nashville and the surrounding areas.” 

"This expansion is significant for our Company,” said Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out owner, president and sole granddaughter of Harry and Esther. “For many years, we’ve heard requests from our customers in Tennessee to consider opening locations near them, further east than we’ve ever been. Our Customers are our most important asset at In-N-Out, and we very much look forward to serving them in years to come, and becoming part of the wonderful communities in The Volunteer State.” 

In-N-Out plans to open its first Tennessee restaurants by 2026. 


Plan to Attend or Participate in the Vibe Conference, Feb. 27 – March 1, 2023

To learn more about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the on-premise beverage community, plan to attend the Vibe Conference, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2023 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Visit VibeConference.com.

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the Vibe Conference, contact:

Fadi Alsayegh Sales & Sponsorships Email: [email protected] Phone: 917-258-5174

Donna Bruns Sales & Sponsorships Email: [email protected] Phone: 936-522-6932

Charlie Forman Sales & Sponsorships Email: [email protected] Phone: 845-262-1041

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